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Aston Manor appoints advisers amid reports it is exploring US$129m sale

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UK cider maker Aston Manor has admitted it is considering a "number of options" after media reported the company is up for sale.

Aston Manor owns cider brands including Frosty Jacks

Aston Manor owns cider brands including Frosty Jack's

In a statement, Aston Manor said it wants to bring new investment into the business to boost growth. The company has appointed financial advisers from Lazard to assist in the search.

"As we look to future challenges and opportunities we are considering what options exist to bring additional investment into the business," Aston Manor said. "There are a number of options that will be considered and there is no certainty that any action will result."

Media reports over the weekend, citing anonymous sources, said Aston Manor's owner were exploring a sale, with the company valued at more than GBP100m (US$129m). Sky News said a sale could take place in the Autumn and that rival brewers and private-equity firms are expected to show an interest.

Aston Manor has invested in new facilities in the past few years, including a multi-million pound warehousing and distribution facility near its factory in Aston, Birmingham. That investment followed a GBP10m (then-US$17m) upgrade to the company's Tiverton site and a new fruit processing facility installed at its Stourport-on-Severn premises.

The company was founded in 1983 and owns brands including Kingstone Press and Frosty Jack's. It also produces cider for third-party brands.

If a sale goes ahead, it won't be the first time that a cider maker has divested UK facilities in the past year. In October, C&C Group followed the sale of an English cider bottling facility with the divestment of production operations to Brothers Drinks Co.


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